2015 – Real ArchiCAD Subscription

Following the success of our Psuedo ArchiCAD Subscription I kept the pressure on GRAPHISOFT to develop and actual Subscription License. The success of our experiment helped convince GRAPHISOFT of the need along with my persistence.

During the first half of the 2015 we worked together to design the mechanics of how a Subscription license would need to work – paying particular attention to how to ensure continuity for the customer even in the event of a payment failure. GRAPHISOFT developed the back-office functionality to renew a Software based license that could be delivered automatically while we developed the marketing, sales and legal side of things.

In the first instance my sole requirement was to have a monthly licence that was purchasable online and would automatically renew until the customer cancelled. We didn’t quite achieve a full automatic solution as the initial license purchase needed to be handled manually (meaning out of office hour purchases were handled the next business day – which wasn’t a major issue)

In August we were starting to see the pieces come together so I adapted our Cadimage Tools Subscription Website to allow for New Zealand ArchiCAD Subscriptions along with all the features for adding licenses, cancelling, payments, renewal payments and all the transactional email. 

As a nice aside, as mentioned earlier Xero provided much of the inspiration that pushed me towards offering Subscription. With our ArchiCAD Subscription System all online sales and renewals automatically created invoices in our Xero system.

Once everything was in place, we demoed the system to GRAPHISOFT Management before getting the green light to launch – the results of our earlier pseudo subscription were a critical part of helping both show the benefits/opportunities and quell the concerns. We got our first sale the day we launched – 1st October 2014. In less than 12months we had surpassed $1million ARR, on top of the existing Perpetual + Subscription business.

I believe this great result was a case of good timing and a strong history. Over almost 25 years since the first Archicad was sold in New Zealand we had worked hard to build a strong and loyal customer base. The subscription success was a result of this work. ArchiCAD was well recognised in the market and with the monthly subscription we were able to hit a price point ($295) that opened up ArchiCAD to virtually anyone. Many people had never taken the leap to purchase ArchiCAD as it was simply unaffordable – Subscription changed that.


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